Ann Clin Microbiol Antimicrob. 2021 Apr 17;20(1):25. doi: 10.1186/s12941-021-00429-8.
BACKGROUND: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains are prevalent in healthcare services. Medical students are at risk for MRSA carriage, subsequent infection and potential transmission of nosocomial infection.Few studies have examined MRSA carriage among medical students.
METHODS: In this prospective cohort study, between July 2016 and June 2017, two nasal swab samples were taken per student 4 weeks apart during their pediatric internship. MRSA typing was performed by staphylococcal cassette chromosome mec (SCCmec) types, Panton Valentine leukocidin (PVL) encoding genes.
RESULTS: A total of 239 sixth year medical students, 164 (68.6%) male (M/F:2.1),with median age 25 years (min-max; 23-65 years) were included in this prospective cohort study. Among 239 students, 17 students (7.1%) were found to be colonized with methicillin-sensitive S. aureus (MSSA) at the beginning of pediatric internship. After 4 weeks, at the end of pediatric internship totally 52 students were found to be S. aureus colonized (21.8%). Three of 52 S. aureus isolates were MRSA (1.3%) and the rest was MSSA (20.5%), all were PVL gen negative. Two of three MRSA isolates were characterized as SCCmec type IV, one isolate was untypeable SCCmec. Nasal carriage of S. aureus increased from 7.1% to 21.5% (p < 0.001). Nasal S. aures colonization ratio was higher in students working in pediatric infectious disease service (p = 0.046). Smoking was found to be associated with a 2.37-fold [95% CI (1.12-5.00); p = 0.023] and number of patients in pediatric services was 2.66-fold [95% CI (1.13-6.27); p = 0.024] increase the risk of nasal S. aureus colonization. Gender was not found to increase risk of MRSA carriage.
CONCLUSION: MSSA nasal carriage increased at the end of pediatric internship and significantly high in students working in pediatric infectious diseases services. Smoking and high number of patients in pediatric services significantly increase S.aureus colonization.